Homer started the season with a 14-game winning streak. But after coming off its first loss of the season, the Trojans were looking at a possible two-game losing streak in the final seconds of their game with Marshall.
Until Homer’s Alex White decided that wasn’t going to happen.
White buried a 25-footer with :02 remaining on the clock to break a late-game tie and Homer edged Marshall, 55-52, in this non-conference boys’ basketball game at Homer on Tuesday.
With the win, Homer goes to 15-1 on the season.
“That’s a really good team. They have won all those games for a reason,” Marshall coach Nicholas Dent said. “I was pleased with the way we played them. But hand it to them – knocking down a three ball with a couple seconds left to win. Those are the plays that good teams make and they’re a good team.”
With the score knotted at 52-52, Homer pulled the ball out and was looking for a final shot. But with Marshall only committing five team fouls, the Redhawks used a foul in the final 10 seconds to shorten the clock a little on the home team.
Homer then looked to run a play that would get a good look at the basket in the final seconds. As it turned out, Marshall’s defense didn’t quite match what Homer thought it would see coming back on the floor.
So it was up to Homer’s senior leader to make something happen. White had the ball at the top of the arc, several feet behind the 3-point line, saw an opening in the Marshall zone, and then launched his game-winner.
“He was supposed to run a pick-and-roll. Why didn’t you run that pick-and-roll?” Homer coach Jim Huffman good-naturedly hollered at his star player in the locker room, before getting back an explanation of Marshall being in a zone.
“Well, it worked,” Huffman added. “That’s what you want. You want to have him to have the ball at the end and make something happen. That was a big shot. First game-winning shot we’ve had in the final seconds in at least a couple years.”
White finished with 24 points and six rebounds to lead Homer with Dylan Thomas adding 10 points and Jared Warsop adding seven points and seven rebounds off the bench. Kyle Winchell also had seven rebounds in the victory.
Drew DeVine led Marshall with 19 points with Jacob Brubaker getting 10 points and Angus Bennett chipping in five points and six rebounds as the Redhawks fall to 3-13 on the year.
Marshall’s record wasn’t great coming into the contest, but the Redhawks are a Class B school and it was a good test for Homer, an honorable mention team in the Class C state rankings this week. Now, the Trojans get ready for a key game with Quincy for first place in the Big Eight on Friday.
“That’s Marshall, they are bigger than us, they play in a bigger, better league, so this was a challenge for us. And it was good to see us step up to that challenge,” Huffman said. “This was a big night for us to come back from our first loss of the year. You never know how you are going to react after a loss. Now we are back to winning and we have a big game on Friday.”